A good album
sauerkraut | 11/15/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 1992, this is the fifth full-length album from Howard Jones, In the Running. Ten songs are contained. The material is in a pop musical direction. Overall, I find the songwriting to be worthy, the musicianship to be skilled, and the sound quality to be satisfying. The album sports an organic quality. Jones turns out a worthy vocal performance. Also, along with the keyboard work, the compositions contain piano playing--both instruments complement each other. Seven of the cuts provide female backing vocals, while a couple of them--the ballads "The Voices Are Back" and "One Last Try"--exhibit brass instrumentation. The album's guitar work is minimal. My favorite pieces are "Show Me," "The Voices Are Back," "Two Souls," and "City Song." "Show Me" and "The Voices Are Back" supply pleasing choruses. Pretty keyboard lines are furnished on "Two Souls," and the ballad "City Song" has a gratifying refrain. When it comes to the CD booklet, it includes the song lyrics and four black-and-white photos of Jones; in addition, the back of the CD jewel case displays a color photo of him. The disc is just over 51 minutes. In the Running gets the job done."
A horrible mastering job in the US, and a pretty dull album
Music Fan Jeff | San Francisco, CA United States | 03/26/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"My title sums up my opinion. If you already know and love this album and you have the standard, US domestic cd, you should really seek out the version made in Europe. I don't know how Elektra ruined the master but the US cd sounds like an MP3 with a heavy compression ratio when compared with the sound of the European version. (Other US WEA pop cd's from European acts from around this period were similarly poorly mastered in the US.)However, I can't much recommend this album to anyone but the biggest HoJo fan, and maybe even not to some of them. How a man who just a few years earlier was singing about not being brought down by the "doom crew" could end up writing such a thoroughly depressing album is beyond me. Some of these sad songs are enjoyable and some are embarrassing ("The Voices Are Back" has to be one of HoJo's worst ever) but taken as a whole this album just wears on the listener.I don't know whether HoJo lost his major label affiliation or he decided he no longer wanted to be involved in big, corporate music. Either way, this album clearly signaled the change in Howard toward targeting a smaller audience."
Top of his form!
sauerkraut | 07/25/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Howard Jones has entered the nineties in style with "In the Running." Temporing down the synths in favor of piano keys, he sounds like a mix between Bruce Hornsby and Peter Gabriel. From start to finish, this is an album I can enjoy over and over. Especially the magic of songs like "City Song," and the tenderness of "One Last Try." It's rare for an artist this last in their career to come back from the bottomless 80 s to the sensitive 90's."